I was born anxious. I’ve fretted for as long as I remember. I worried for one and all. Some days it cripples me and I have to disappear for a while. Others, I am able to accept it as part of my character. These days, though, I manage it better. I know what works. What to do when things build up. I’m philosophical about it. And I don’t apologise for it anymore. Those around me get some good kickbacks for being a mate with a worrywart. Like, um, never being kept waiting. And not having to navigate, pack, plan or negotiate when travelling with me.
Yes, so. I manage my anxiety.
And, so. Last week I was at my Chinese doctor getting needled. I’m able to direct her now to the spots that need a-needling. I pointed her to a spot at the top of the shin, just on the outside of the shin, about an inch below the knee joint.
She laughed. “Ah, yes. The chicken soup point.”
She explained: “This point, it does the same thing that chicken soup does when you drink it.” Which is what? “It nourishes your whole body in one go. That’s what chicken soup does.” She makes chicken soup every week and feeds it to her sons to keep them healthy. They get chicken soup for afternoon tea.
The chicken soup point. Feel it on your own leg now, if you can. Press into it. Does it feel sensitive? That kind of “painful” that feels better when activated? I describe this kind of release as “juicy”. And can you see that this kind of almost-orgasmic release is also experienced when you eat something truly nourishing? OK. Well, I do.
Anyway. My anxiety. When I’m anxious, I eat chicken soup. I make a big batch of chicken stock – the recipe is here – and freeze it in single-serve portions (in old jars and vitamin bottles).
I have it on it’s own, as an afternoon tea snack when I’m jittery and would normally grab for stimulants (chocolate, tea etc).
How does chicken soup helps anxiety?
Chicken soup is for the soul, it fixes colds, it’s the meal brought to the infirm, it saves lives. I can personally attest to the fact that the stuff is calming. Even the act of eating it – with a spoon, slowly – is calming. Some say it’s more effective than Tylenol as a relaxant. It works like this: the collagen released when you cook chicken bones (in particular) for hours – preferably 24 – feeds, repairs, and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine. Our gut is our second brain. Our gut is integral to our entire nervous systems. Calm the gut, you calm your brain and body. Got it?
I made a batch last week. I used chicken bones this time, instead of a whole chicken. The bones cost $4 for 1.2kg bag from urbanfoodmarket – a super cheap way to do it if you don’t want the chicken meat as well. And during the week I made this super simple soup. I like it’s elegance and simplicity. I drank it calmly, because it was a pretty thing to drink. I had respect for it. And, thus, myself. If you know what I mean…
Summer vegetable anti-anxiety soup
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- 1/2 zucchini, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 yellow squash, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 asparagus stems, cut into 1cm lengths, or some frozen peas
- A handful of fresh herbs, chopped (parsley is particularly good for “imparting additional mineral ions to the broth”, says Sally Fallon)
Bring the broth to the boil, reduce to a simmer and add the vegetables. Cook for one minute, stir through the herbs and serve with a crush of black pepper. Sip slowly.
Also, I just read something Chris Kresser posted about fears that broth can contain lead…he dispels the concern, BTW! But do bear in mind: ALWAYS use organic AND pasture-fed meat when making stock. You’re leaching out stuff from the bones…you don’t want chemicals or grain-caused toxins in your soup!
Inspired to cook up some bones??